An Ode To Our Childhood


Those were the days,
When the huddle of choices
Fuelled our imagination,
To realize what a child
Must love, most.
We pretended to know a lot,
Peering through life,
Taking different gaits.


Our knowledge of a kitten
Bleating, ‘meow, meow,’
On his foolishness to be inside
A cradle-shaped hole,
And the black gaunt snake
Hissing above;
It was hard to tell risk
And fear from excitement.


Those were the days!


We were the wholesome fruit
Of the season,
The vast summer smouldering
In our eyes –
The loping flights,
When we laughed and fought
With moderate lies –
Till sundown,
Playing hide-and-seek,
I-spy, hop-scotch.


Those were the days!


We acted like adults,
Sometimes, taking their various
Shapes in our conversation…
And even in their mannerism…
In the light of early sun,
We sprawled upon the dew-coated
Garden furniture re-painted…
In hackneyed layers
Of green or white.


Days, months, how I waited to relish
The long, forbidden bitter smoke
Of the legendary hookah!
I remember the gurgling ebb-flow
In my lungs,
Choking my breath;
It was not difficult to grasp
The folly!


Those were the days!



September 2005


Geeta Chhabra

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